Specific Health Problems
Publication Date: Jun 1999
Health problems are gendered and this paper summarises those specific to men and to women in sections on Occupational Health, Nutrition, Mental Health, and HIV/AIDS, raising various pertinent issues. Data about occupational health problems has been found to be gender biased, with research in this area concentrating on 'male' jobs and health problems. Women's 'reproductive' work has been excluded from the definition of 'occupations', thus the risks of eg. carrying heavy loads have not been assessed. As regards nutrition, sex differentials in favour of boys have been found in 3 of 5 countries in the Americas. An estimated 450 million adult women in developing countries are stunted as a result of protein-energy malnutrition during childhood. Plus incomplete skeletal growth, resulting in a smaller pelvis, poses serious risks during childbirth. Gender influences the types of mental illness from which one is likely to suffer, with different kinds predominating amongst women and men. Gender roles and relations also influence the risk of infection, the burden of HIV/AIDS, diagnosis and treatment, and state and health system responses. These and numerous other examples of gender specific health problems are provided, together with recommendations for the short, medium and long term, and links to or details of useful information.